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Trust Perceptions of Online Travel Information by Different Content Creators: Some Social and Legal Implications

Burgess, Stephen and Sellitto, Carmine and Cox, Carmen and Buultjens, Jeremy (2011) Trust Perceptions of Online Travel Information by Different Content Creators: Some Social and Legal Implications. Information Systems Frontiers, 13 (2). pp. 221-235. ISSN 1572-9419

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Abstract

Consumers are increasingly turning to the online environment to provide information to assist them in making purchase decisions related to travel products. They often rely on travel recommendations from different sources, such as sellers, independent experts and, increasingly, other consumers. A new type of online content, usergenerated content (UGC), provides a number of legal and social challenges to providers and users of that content, especially in relation to areas such as defamation, misrepresentation and social embarrassment. This paper reports research that examined the level of trustworthiness of online travel information from these different sources. The study used a survey of Australian travel consumers (n= 12,000) and results support the notion that there are differences in the level of trust for online travel information from different sources. Respondents ‘tended to agree’ that they trusted information provided by travel agents, information from commercial operators and comments made by travellers on third party websites. However, the highest level of trust was afforded to information provided on State government tourism websites. These results suggest that greater trust is placed in online travel comments when they are on a specific travel website than when they are on a more generic social networking website. However, respondents were ‘not sure’ that they trusted comments made by travellers on weblogs and on social networking sites. Some 88% of respondents that had not visited UGC websites (or were unsure if they had) indicated that they thought that UGC would be useful in the future – suggesting that they feel that any concerns they may have in relation to legal and social problems resulting from its use will be resolved.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Originally published online, 9 June 2009.

Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID17052, ResPubID23337, online travel information, content creators, user-generated content, online consumers, travel information, product recommendations, purchasing decisions, consumer decision making, travel products, travel recommendations, tourism, USG, usergenerated content, trusted information, trusted sources of information
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
FOR Classification > 1505 Marketing
FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
SEO Classification > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 03:55
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2014 05:16
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/4191
DOI: 10.1007/s10796-009-9192-x
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Citations in Scopus: 1 - View on Scopus

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